MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a non-coding regulatory RNAs that play significant roles in plant growth and development, especially in the stress response. Low-energy ion radiation, a type of environmental stress, can cause multiple biological effects. To understand the roles of miRNAs in response to low-energy N+ ion radiation in Oryza sativa, high-throughput sequencing of small RNAs was carried out to detect the expression of miRNAs in the shoots of the rice after 2 × 1017 N+/cm2 irradiation. The differentially expressed 28 known miRNAs were identified, 17 of these identified miRNAs were validated by real-time quantitative fluorescent PCR (q-PCR), including 9 up-regulated miRNAs (miR1320-3p, miR1320-5p, miR156b-3p, miR156c-5p, miR156c-3p/g-3p, miR1561-5p, miR398b and miR6250) and 8 down-regulated miRNAs (miR156a/e/i, miR156k, miR160f-5p, miR166j-5p, miR1846e and miR399d). In addition, 45 novel radiationresponsive miRNAs were predicted, and 8 of them were verified by q-PCR. The target genes of radiation-responsive miRNAs were predicted and gene function enrichment analysis was performed with Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). The expression of 9 targets of 4 known miRNA families (miR156, miR399, miR1320 and miR398) and 2 targets of 2 novel miRNAs were quantified by q-PCR, and a strong negative regulation relation between miRNAs and their targets were observed. Those targets including SQUAMOSA promoterbinding-like protein (SPL) genes, copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn-SOD), copper chaperone for SOD (CCS1) and electron transporter/ heat-shock protein binding protein (HSP), which are involved in growth and defense against various stresses, especially associated with reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging. This work provides important information for understanding the ROS generation and elimination mechanisms closely related to miRNAs in rice seedlings after low-energy N+ radiation exposure.
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Vol. 191 • No. 2